Reporting Jay Lloyd
SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY SHORE
I like the Jersey Cape because it offers everything from deep sea fishing and blue water sailing to kayaking – even paddle boarding. In and near Cape May there’s a profusion of marinas and launching sites, all with their own characteristics. At the high end you’ll find the CANYON CLUB. This upscale marina and condo complex offers all the amenities of a yacht club and is conveniently located between the Cape May jetty, and the canal emptying into the Delaware Bay. It can accommodate power and sail with deep water slips and full maintenance service.
Another favorite is the SOUTH JERSEY MARINA located where the Garden State Parkway enters Cape May. Another full service marina, more for the mid-range boater than country club, this South Jersey center also accommodates transients and it’s home to off-shore fishing charter boats. Easy access to both Delaware Bay and Atlantic waters. Other Cape marinas to consider are HARBOR VIEW MARINA and TWO MILE LANDING MARINA
For area boaters who want a city backdrop and nightlife while enjoying day sails or just lunchtime getaways from the office, dock the boat at marinas on the Penn’s Landing waterfront between Lombard and the Ben Franklin Bridge. The location provides Delaware River cruising or fast power boating to the Chesapeake, even weekends at the Jersey shore. I’ve spent several nights at the PHILADELPHIA MARINE CENTER and find the location dynamic. It’s just steps from Dave and Busters, Hibachi and La Veranda restaurants and a short walk to the eateries, clubs and historic areas of Old City. The marina can accommodate sail or power boats up to 70 feet at rates comparable to top Chesapeake Bay marinas. Stay a whole season or if you like a change of scene, monthly slip rentals are available. There’s fuel service and free parking, but no maintenance. PENN’S LANDING MARINA. A seasonal or transient rental here puts you right in the heart of the Society Hill action. Both the popular Chart House and Moshulu restaurants are within feet of the Marina. The Philadelphia Seaport Museum shares the Quay and it’s a short walk or convenient bus ride to Society Hill, Old City and the Historic District. There are frequent festivals here, so it can be live and lively. No on-site fuel or maintenance services.
For sailors, the Chesapeake Bay is one of the nation’s premier cruising area. There are numerous waterfront towns, secluded creeks and rivers to explore and the cities of Baltimore, Washington and Norfolk. Most Philadelphia are boaters launch from marinas on the eastern shore of the upper bay. Here are a few of my favorites. My own home port for many years was Rock Hall, Maryland and the HAVEN HARBOUR MARINA.
The marina, tucked away on the placid waters of Swan Creek has evolved in a full scale resort with floating and fixed docks, two bed and breakfast inns for visiting guests, pools, a tiki bar and eatery, kayaks and bikes for slip renters. It’s within walking distance of town, waterfront restaurants, bars and attractions. There’s full maintenance service, haul-out and a fuel dock, plus winter storage. Another Favorite is GREAT OAK LANDING AT FAIRLEE CREEK. Here’s the only non-yacht club marina on the upper bay with its own golf course and private beach. There’s lodging, eateries and a popular tiki bar, Jeffyfish Joel’s. It offers full maintenance services, haulout, fuel dock and winter storage. On the eastern shore it’s a quick run to the bay and Baltimore. If you prefer the excitement of the western shore and close proximity to its metropolitan settings, my choice would be Annapolis. I like the ANNAPOLIS CITY MARINA in Eastport across Spa Creek from the city because it’s considerably quieter than the Annapolis waterfront but just a short walk to City Dock. The marina is right on top of the Eastport restaurant hub that includes the Chart House, Ruth’s Chris and popular local seafood favorites. The marina offers fuel and pump-out service but not maintenance. There’s a ships store and parking.
On the Annapolis side of the creek, pay a visit to the ANNAPOLIS YACHT BASIN. You can spot the Annapolis Yacht Basin very easily. Just look for mega yachts flying Cayman Island flags. There’s a waiting list for annual slip rentals here, but you can try for a monthly and certainly a mid-week transient slip. It’s around the corner from my favorite watering hole on “Ego Alley” Pusser’s Rum Bar. The marina has a prominent fuel dock and cable tv at each slip. Location is the key here. It’s around the corner from the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel and smack in the middle of the City Dock area action including the Naval Academy, unique nautically themed shops, a crab house and numerous restaurants including Chick and Ruth’s Jewish deli where everyone stands at 8am each morning for the Pledge of allegiance.